As the number of active Covid-19 cases fell to its lowest in four months in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Monday, the civic body shut down its 200-bed Auto Cluster Hospital, which had no patients. The PCMC administration said it may also close down the 816-bed jumbo hospital by June 10 if there were no patients. At the same, the administration is planning to partially convert YCM hospital into a non-Covid facility.
By Monday evening, Pimpri-Chinchwad had nearly 5,000 active Covid-19 cases, of whom 2,500 were hospitalised. Pimpri-Chinchwad has 135 dedicated Covid hospitals and a bed capacity of 10,000, including the ones in civic and private Covid care centres.
“We have closed down Auto Cluster Hospital on Monday. It had only one patient on Sunday and no patients on Monday,” said Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil.
The PCMC chief said the civic body is planning to close down the jumbo hospital at Nehrunagar, which had only 100 patients on Monday evening. “The jumbo hospital has fewer patients now. We will take a call regarding its closure on June 10, depending on the number of patients… we are also planning to partially convert YCM Hospital into a non-Covid one. The decision will be taken soon,” he said.
Earlier, this week, PCMC had shut down five Covid care centres as well.
Patil said new hospitals set up by PCMC at Thergaon and Akurdi, with collective capacity of 350 beds, will become operational by June 5. “Both these hospitals will be dedicated Covid hospitals,” he said.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Ulhas Jagtap, who was looking after the Auto Cluster facility, said, “The facility was run by a private contractor since last September. It was taken over by PCMC on May 9. We will pay the salaries of the doctors, nurses and other staff of the hospital till May 31.”
The hospital was taken over by the PCMC after allegations surfaced that doctors at the facility took a bribe in exchange of providing an ICU bed to a Covid-19 patient. Two doctors of the Auto Cluster Hospital and two of a private hospital were arrested in connection with the case.